I am sure this past week has been stressful for many of you, your loved ones and friends. Florida was hit hard with Hurricane Irma—just one week after Houston was hit by Hurricane Harvey. People pulled together to batten down facilities and keep things moving forward as the cleanup is now in full force. Storms like Irma and Harvey are a reminder to me of why I do what I do. I constantly see people getting settled in, deluded into thinking they are entitled to dry clothes, electricity, transportation, a place to live and the everyday essentials just because they are good people.
Bad things happen to good people.
The reality is Irma and Harvey are reminders that most are not ready to weather long-term setbacks.
Many small businesses will not make it after being forced to shut down business for a week. Products spoil, inventory sits on shelves, and rent is due again in a couple of weeks. And then there is the physical damage done to the stores—the windows, the water leakage, etc.. The fact is many small businesses are simply too small to deal with a week-long hurricane interruption to their cash flow.
This is also true with individuals. Some people choose not to evacuate out of areas under threat not because they don’t want to, but because it’s too financially burdensome to drive out of state and stay at a hotel for a few days. Storms are financial setbacks, and most people don’t have in their budget a Hurricane Irma.
I hope these storms remind you to get yourself in a better position to secure your freedom for you and yours.
A 35-hour work week may not be what you need to be doing right now. If you are making a middle-class income, work-life balance is the wrong goal. You don’t need balance in your life—you need money. Here are 2 reminders that Irma and Harvey can give you:
1) Focus on earning, not on comfort.
Middle-class Americas want nothing more than to be comfortable, even if that means they never will get rich. Comfort is king for too many people. The problem is, if you are stuck making $50,000 a year you will never get out of being uncomfortable because you have nothing left over financially.
If you become comfortable, you take less action. When you take less action, you stop pushing to fulfill your potential. Seeking comfort over financial freedom is what separates the moderately successful from the most successful. Many people wanted to get a flight out of South Florida last week and were unable to find one. I flew out of the state on my private jet—and I’m not saying that to brag but as an example of what financial independence can do for you.
2) Assume Responsibility for Everything
It is a myth and falsehood to think that success just happens or that it just happens to some people. You are the source, the generator, the origin, and the reason for everything—both positive and negative. This is not meant to simplify the concept of success, of course, but until you decide you are responsible for everything, you likely will not take the action necessary to get you above the game.
Everything that happens in your life comes as a result of your own responsibility, not merely some outside force like a hurricane. This will prompt you to start looking for ways to move beyond the situation and take control of not having bad things “happen” to you in the future. Begin to ask yourself after every unpleasant encounter or event, “What can I do to reduce my chances of it happening again?”
Again, my heart goes out to all of you in Houston, Florida and across the Caribbean. Bad stuff happens to good people, but I encourage you to take responsibility for even things like Irma and Harvey so that you will be able to not just weather setbacks that come, but thrive and be able to give back to others.